Are you living the life that you envisioned?

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As a teen, I loved watching LA Law. I envisioned myself graduating from college, going to law school, and living my version of the show, Atlanta Law. Then, I did it. I completed the required steps. Major in political science, check. Take the LSAT, check. Work for a law firm, check. However, the firm where I worked was nothing like LA Law! It showed me another side of being an attorney, no glitz and glamour, not what I had imagined myself doing. The attorneys I worked with seldom argued cases in court. Instead, they spent their time doing research, filing motions, and arguing with courthouse personnel. Worst of all, it was evident that they did not enjoy being attorneys. When I realized this, it was time to rethink my career options. Our dreams evolve and change, just like we do, and that’s okay.

Are you in the career or relationship that you envisioned? And the more important question, are you satisfied with the life that you are living? If you are a YES, take pride in this achievement. And if not, take a look in the mirror. That’s the person who can change your situation.

If you have decided that you want a different life, here is one strategy:

  1. Write a paragraph describing the life that you envision for yourself five years from now. Make it crystal clear so anyone could read it and understand the vision you have for your life.
  2. What are the three things you need to do immediately that would move you towards living this life? Write them down.
  3. Break these three things down into small manageable baby steps and give yourself a deadline for achieving each step.

I was a media and entertainment executive for 20 plus years. I had a great career, but I was no longer living the life I envisioned for myself. I sat down and wrote the life that I wanted: to use my experience supporting others to maximize their career potential. I wanted to help people go from good to great performance, and reduce the time it takes to rise from middle-management roles to the executive ranks, particularly women and minorities. It was clear that I wanted to be a coach, but how could I make it happen? I wrote the three things that I needed to do immediately and then micro-steps to achieve them.

For example, here was the first thing I needed to do, along with the steps to make it happen.

  1. Become a coach.
  2. Talk with successful coaches, hear their stories, and ask for their advice and recommendations.
  3. Determine what is required to become a certified coach.
  4. Explore the different coaching programs.
  5. Identify the right program for me and register.
  6. Take required coaching classes.
  7. Pass written exam.
  8. Pass an oral coaching exam.
  9. Apply for and receive certification.

You will soon realize that setting small, bite-sized goals and achieving them day after day will allow you to ladder up to a bigger vision that you have for your life. You have control over creating the change in your life that will enable you to set your course. You can live the life you envision if you plan where you want to go, how to get there with small manageable steps and have the discipline to stick to your plan. If you want it, you can do it! What are you waiting for? Get busy!

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Kim Martin

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